Vegan Resource Guide

Have you ever heard the phrase "You are what you eat?" It doesn't mean that if you eat an apple, you are one. But it does mean that if you eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet, you are more likely to enjoy good health. For many people, becoming a vegan is the best way to achieve that goal. In addition, many vegans enjoy knowing that their eating habits contribute to a kinder safer world for animals as well as for all of us.

Diet

Unlike vegetarians, vegans subsist on a diet of foods that come only from plants. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, along with all the food products which can be created with these ingredients. You might think it would be difficult to plan meals around the needs of a vegan, but check the links below for a pleasant surprise. Vegan meals are not only delicious and nutritious; they can contribute to your good health.

Health Benefits

Cutting animal products from your diet can have a positive impact on your health. Medical studies like the ones in the links below connect a vegan diet with reduced incidents of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Of course, in order to get those benefits, a vegan must make sure to consume a balanced diet. For example, potato chips and candy might be vegan, but a health-conscious person, whether vegan or not, should only eat them in moderation.

Animal Cruelty

Another important reason a person might decide to become a vegan is because he or she loves animals and doesn't want to cause them pain. Many farm animals are kept in crowded, unhealthy conditions during their short lifetimes. This applies not only to animals raised to be eaten, like pigs, but also to animals raised to produce food, like hens. On factory farms and even on free-range farms, animals like chickens or milk cows are only kept alive as long as they produce eggs or milk. Once their usefulness as producers is over, they are slaughtered.

The Importance of Cruelty-Free Products

Vegans care about all animals, not just the ones people eat. Fur coats and leather shoes are obvious issues, because an animal died to create them. But you may be surprised to learn that many commercial products are tested on animals before they are sold to human beings. These include household goods of all sorts, from baby wipes to cleaning fluids. Animal protection organizations have created lists of companies that do not use animals in their product manufacturing. The links below are an example of these resources.

More Resources

Going vegan is a big decision, but it can be a rewarding one. You will not only impact your own health but also the health of our planet. Raising farm animals can create pollution because the process produces waste which can pollute neighboring rivers. Then there is deforestation. In the U.S. alone, approximately 260 million acres of forest have been cut down so that crops to feed animals can be grown on the cleared land. Water use is an issue too. For every pound of meat, a cow needs to drink 2,500 gallons of water over its lifetime. By comparison, growing a pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons of water. Learn more about how a vegan diet can protect the environment and impact your health by exploring the links below.